The current case of a prominent Chinese activist seeking U.S. protection has echoes of a similar episode in 1989. Then, physicist Fang Lizhi took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He spent a year there before the U.S. and China reached a deal allowing him to move to the U.S. He died this month in Arizona, at age 76. John B. Carnett/Popular Science via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption John B. Carnett/Popular Science via Getty Images

Chinese paramilitary police patrol outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on April 28. Chen Guangcheng, a blind legal activist who fled house arrest in his rural Chinese village, is reported to be under the protection of U.S. officials. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to China for what was supposed to be a routine visit. Alexander F. Yuan/AP hide caption

toggle caption Alexander F. Yuan/AP
Activist's Escape Complicates Clinton's China Visit
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151707162/151714151" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Who Is Chen Guangcheng?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151713706/151714152" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Wealthy Australian To Build 21st Century Titanic
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151675513/151675911" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

April 13: In Karachi, activists from the Shabab-e-Milli group set fire to U.S. flags during a protest against the reopening of the NATO supply route to Afghanistan. Asif Hassan /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Asif Hassan /AFP/Getty Images

Blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, seen in this image from a YouTube video, escaped last week after 19 months under house arrest. Searches for his name are banned on China's Twitter-like services. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP
Two Crises Highlight China's Social Media Struggles
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151670969/151670952" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A man gathering firewood to sell cuts down mangrove trees in the coastal area of Medan city on Indonesia's Sumatra island on Jan. 31. The country, which has one-quarter of the world's mangroves, is losing them at a rate of 6 percent a year. The coastal forests play important ecological and environmental roles. Suntanta Aditya/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Suntanta Aditya/AFP/Getty Images
Drama Amid Indonesia's Disappearing Mangroves
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151548173/151671092" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Trade, Security On Agenda For Obama, Japan's Noda
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151663842/151670954" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Chinese activist Chen Guangchen is believed to be under U.S. protection, possibly at the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese Activist's Escape Quickens A Quiet Diplomacy
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151631941/151630757" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Japanese Leader To Make Rare White House Visit
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151630057/151630759" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Auto Manufacturing Gears Up For Chinese Consumers
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151630055/151630758" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Seeking Refuge, Blind Chinese Activist Flees
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151603531/151603530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript